One of the tests of really interesting fashion is whether you feel you've never seen anything quite like it before. Marios Schwab
's Fall collection had that quality. It started from an intellectual investigation into various forms of expansion, running from the workings of the human body to the geological forms of crystals and minerals when they crack open, revealing themselves within stones. Nevertheless, you could read all that in the program notes and still get no idea of what the outcome would be in terms of clothes. As it was, Schwab's opening section of double-layer dresses—a larger size on top of a smaller size in a single silhouette—with half-circle Swarovski stones embedded in the necklines, looked great. They were followed by even more strangely dramatic pieces of tailoring and dresses in which fissures seemed to break open to reveal crystalline interiors. The technical rigor involved in cutting these pieces put Schwab back on track as one of the London designers who are pushing forward through lines of inquiry other than the standard historical references. It did lead him to offer a one-length collection that has only one end use—as cocktail party wear—but whoever chooses from this collection will own something exceptional.